5 Furniture & Lighting Brands With Celebrated Histories
From lighting solutions to modular sofas, we look at five furniture and lighting brands with rich histories that deserve celebration and praise.
After a two-year hiatus, the Salone del Mobile opens this week as part of Milan Design Week 2022. In its 60th edition, it is certainly a milestone in the furniture industry. The world’s largest trade fair will offer 2,175 exhibitors where some 600 young designers under 35 are there to showcase their talents to the world. In a similar vein, this week we look at five brands in furniture and lighting that also celebrate their decades-experience in this business. They have come a long way and have proven they still going strong and continue to gain a global reputation and win new converts with their latest creations.
Moroso — Jubilee Platinum Celebration
The Udine-based furniture brand was established in 1952. Moroso was the brainchild of Agostino Moroso who, with his wife, Diana, founded the company with the objective of making sofas, armchairs, and furnishing accessories. The brand is renowned for its wild but functional creations. The owners also delved into research and artisanal approach to create extraordinary designs to which Moroso was able to set themselves apart in the market.
Some might say Moroso is recognised as an haute couture of international design and a leading company in upholstered-furniture manufacturing. The brand works with some of the most in-demand designers and these include Patricia Urquiola, Konstantin Grcic, Ross Lovegrove, Ron Arad, Doshi & Levien, Nendo, Front, and Marcel Wanders, to name a few.
These are designers who have worked alongside the brand for many years and understand the brand’s design DNA and philosophy; all of who have created products flaunting the unmistakable “Moroso style”. In fact, some of Moroso’s designs have become permanent pieces at MoMA in New York, Le Palais de Tokyo and the Grand Palais in Paris, and the Venice Biennale, and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
All these successes have led Moroso on a growth trajectory. It is currently led and helmed by founder and owner Patrizia Moroso who has an eye for detail and scouting new and upcoming designers to be part of Moroso’s design stable. Some of the iconic Moroso pieces include the “Fjord” lounge chair and “Redondo” sofa by Patricia Urquiola; Victoria & Albert sofa by Ron Arad; “My Beautiful Backside” by Doshi & Levien; “Pipe” sofa by Sebastian Herkner, to name a few.
Fontana Arte — Celebrated 90 Years In The Business
As one of the masters in Italian lighting brands, Fontana Arte celebrates its 90th year in the business. Founded in 1932 as an artistic division in the company of Luigi Fontana, known for its advanced glass manufacturing, it was its founder — the preeminent architect Gio Ponti — who saw the potential use of glass for interior furnishing such as glass lamps to make them a distinguishing feature for the brand.
Its initial batch of creations tapped on the talents of leading Italian architects and lighting designers. It then slowly progressed to commission international designers to join its design stable. While its focus was on glass, the brand also incorporated technology and aesthetic appeal to create some of the most timeless lighting objects.
These have become design classics and are currently exhibited in many leading museums around the world. Fontana Arte’s “Made In Italy” philosophy ensures it is focused on design and production through local artisans, engineers, and designers.
So what are some of Fontana Arte’s iconic lighting instruments? The “0024” suspension lamp and “Bilia” table lamp designed by Gio Ponti which is still sought after by design heads and professionals in the trade; the “Fontana” table lamp designed by French master glass worker Max Ingrand; and “Giova” table lamp by Gae Aulenti.
Lodes — 72 Years Of Innovation and Design
Founded in 1950, Lodes was previously known as Studio Italia Design. In 2020, the occasion of its 70th anniversary, it unveiled its new logo and brand identity. The Venice-based lighting brand has been producing and designing lighting solutions for many interiors and exteriors.
Its founder Angelo Tosetto’s passion for glass and his deep knowledge of technological research led the company to gain its footprint across 90 markets worldwide. Today, under its third-generation owners, it still creates some of the most stunning luminaires that embrace the best processing techniques, and innovative technologies, and are made with the finest materials.
Its “Made In Italy” philosophy has catapulted Lodes to be one of the most important lighting solution companies both in Italy and around the world. Some of the brand’s popular pieces include “Jefferson” suspension lamp by Luca Nichetto and “Flar” table/floor lamps by Patrick Norguet.
Cassina — A legacy of more than 90 years…
Since it was founded in 1927, Cassina has always been researching the elements that make up contemporary living and interiors. Cassina’s founders — Cesare and Umberto Cassina — did not just limit themselves to creating and designing furniture.
The brand was more focused on how the cultural and social impact of interiors and architecture can affect the way we live. In 2017, Cassina celebrated its 90 years of history in the business. It worked with some of the most respected names in the industry such as Mario Bellini and Piero Lissoni to create contemporary designs. The brand’s quest for modernity through the research of new shapes and materials has always been part of the company’s design DNA. Today, it is the manufacturer of legacy designs from one of the godfathers of architecture — Le Corbusier. Cassina worked on the reconstruction of avant-garde architectural projects such as Le Corbusier’s “Cabanon summer” hideaway, or the Refuge Tonneau, a mountain shelter designed by Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret in 1938.
These projects are now part of travelling exhibitions around the world. Owned by Poltrona Frau, Cassina is still independent in the running of its business. Cassina has been the go-to brand for serious “Made in Italy” products created by some of the world’s leading living designers such as Rodolfo Dordoni, Philippe Starck, and Piero Lissoni. It has a raft of posthumous designs from designers/architects such as Gaetano Pesce, Frank Lloyd Wright, Gio Ponti, Franco Albini, Gerrit Rietveld, Charlotte Perriand, Vico Magistretti, to name a few. These designs sit under the endearing range, part of the “Cassina I Maestri Collection (Masters Collection)”, which has been an integral facet of Cassina’s furniture business for many years. Iconic pieces from Cassina’s large portfolio include “Superleggera” chair by Gio Ponti; “Utrecht” armchair by Gerrit T.
Rietveld, “Maralunga” sofa by Vico Magistretti; and “LC4” lounge chair by Le Corbusier. Today, Cassina has a close relationship with many leading architects and designers, ultimately churning designs that have made the brand stand out in its identity. This has resulted in an innovative fusion that closely links technological skills with traditional craftsmanship.
Minotti – Italian Excellence
Established in 1948 by Alberto Minotti, Minotti was just a small-scale artisan workshop that later boomed during the 1960s. Alberto’s two sons Renato and Roberto Minotti took over the reins.
They began a slow but sturdy process of expanding the brand to international markets. But in 1998, the two brothers shared their creative vision with architect Rodolfo Dordoni who became their Art Director ever since. Dordoni coordinated all of the company’s collections and designs. Central to the Minotti identity is its focus on “Made In Italy” excellence.
Their third-generation helms the digitalisation and social media intricacies of our digital age. However, its deep-rooted belief for talented artisans to create outstanding products has led Minotti to produce furniture pieces with impeccable details using top-notch materials sourced around the globe.
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Minotti is all about great attention to sartorial details without losing touch with its customers. Today, Minotti works with some of the best talents in the field. These architects and designers include Christophe Delcourt, Nendo, GamFratesi, studio mk27, and Gordon Guillaumier, to name a few. Iconic pieces from Minotti’s vaults include “Hopper” armchair, “Cesar” stool, and their best-selling “Hamilton” sofa all designed by Rodolfo Dordoni.
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